Chapter 159 Oppressed cultivators
The hours after the game ended passed in a much needed lull, at least for the guests. After watching for several hours straight, despite the excellent excitement, they were getting tired. Many chose to stay in their rooms to sleep, some decided to return to their respective planets. Those that returned to Earth soon received a big surprise. Everyone had plans to return to watch the next match, but how many would actually return was yet to be determined?
Will Bentham was one of the guests who had decided to stay at the Inn. Truth be told, he was seriously considering living at the Inn perpetually, as the air on Earth was too putrid for him to tolerate after spending time in this heaven. This plan of his was slowly starting to seem more likely because he had placed a nominal sum as a bet to show support for Alexander. Keeping in mind the lads excellent performance, he had received a whopping 11,000 MP as credit! This solidified his plan to continue betting, small amounts of course, and could use that money to supplement his plans – not that he was really short of money, but he had never disliked a sudden windfall.
While Will had become an unexpected winner, most people had lost their bets – including Anthony, who had placed a personal bet that the Jotuns would be the ones to destroy the node. Since this was the first match, people had bet only small amounts, as they did not know what to expect from the participants. The next match would likely be when the real betting began. Despite that, Lex had made a spectacular 330,765 MP profit from the bets alone.
Something worth noting was that other than Will, Igishima won nearly 8000 MP in bets. Oddly enough, his prizes didnt come from a single win, but from various random bets. It seemed as if the tree did not understand the concept of gambling very well and randomly placed bets on whoever it thought looked good.
Other than that, his income from food and other services was only 440,765 MP since about 15,000 of the mouths he was feeding were participating in the games. Even though he was not really in the mood to pay attention to these things, he could not help but remember just a month back when he was struggling to raise a measly 10,000 MP. In comparison, his current total was 981,530 MP.
But he did not touch the MP this time. He planned no upgrades and didnt think of fixing any issues. This MP would stay in reserve for now in case he needed to use it for any particular reason.
He spent his time meditating back in his room and told Mary to inform him when the people who were going to negotiate with the family heads came. While Lex was meditating, a lot of people were waiting in anxiously..
Brandon, of course, had already cooled down and was spending time with his grandson, laughing at his reaction when Alexander finally learnt about the golden aura. As it turned out, Brandon had specially modified the technique so the user would not be able to see the aura. It was the only way to have people actually practice the technique all the way. Helen sat quietly in the corner. Since she learnt about the war, she had not spoken a word.
Anthony was having all the data analyzed and discussing the strategy for the next match with Crawford-41. It was confirmed now that Pramod had been able to get his hands on the second chest, which would likely make the next match incredibly hard. He had also sent someone to invite the leaders from Earth to discuss the strategy, but apparently they were preoccupied at the moment. By now, as dismissive as he was of Earth, he at least recognized they were not completely worthless. He had even sent a clip of Alexanders battle to Ragnar back on Vegus Minima.
Speaking of which, the bubble surrounding the first battlefield had disappeared once all the contestants retreated. Ragnar immediately secured the location and had his troops try to locate any remnants of the node. If they could understand it better, they would be able to search for it themselves on the other planets.
The beasts were undergoing their own form of strategy meetings. They had racked up a decent number of points, but not enough. The sloth was having a few discussions with the various leaders from the planet about how they can improve performance. The consensus, generally, was that during the first five games, they only needed to get a decent number of points. It was the last five games during which they would steal the show.
Like this, the time passed and just as the first light of the new day shone down on the Inn, three new guests appeared at the Inn. In the lead was a woman, and behind her two men. This was the first time they had come to the Inn and took a look around. When their personal holograms showed up and introduced them to the rules and asked if they needed help with anything, they were particularly impressed.
“This is a good place. If I can cultivate here, I feel like Ill be able to break through in just a few months,” said the man with short, blonde hair.
“We need to find out more about this Inn. If we can cultivate our forces here…”
“Focus on the task at hand,” the woman said in a tired voice. She was exhausted from babysitting these two. Why couldnt hidden co-conspirators be more serious, like in the movies?
Little did she know, her two partners were thinking the same thing about her. She had an unusual form of OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) wherein she could only focus on one task. Anything at all that was not completely relevant to that task would irritate her to no end, and she would, in turn, irritate them to no end.
“Fine, fine, lets just get on with it.”
The three asked their holographic-assistants to escort them to the family heads. As soon as they met someone from the entourage from one of the families, they were escorted to a room for a meeting.
Mary naturally woke Lex up so he could pay attention.
In the room, four of the family heads and a few other relevant dignitaries were staring at the three newcomers with murder in their eyes. The three of them were quite nonchalant about it though – they already knew about the security provided by the Inn.
“Dont look at me like that, grandpappy Sam. What will you do if I get scared and run away?” asked the blonde man sarcastically.
“You have some gall to speak to me like that, Kevin!”
The blonde man only chuckled and ignored the senile fool.
“So you really have betrayed us,” said Richard, looking at the other man.
“Is it really a betrayal, old man? The way I see it, we just took our inheritance a little before you died. Its not a big deal.”
“You disappoint me, Lee.”
“The feeling is mutual,” he said, as he comfortably took a seat. To be honest, Lee felt like annoying these geezers a little more, but he could tell the preamble conversation was already irritating Miranda, and hed had a long day taking over the world. He didnt want to hear her bickering.
“Were all families involved?” the Queen asked Miranda.
“Does it matter? Thats not what were here to discuss. Someone hurry up and call Brandon so we can begin.”
“Ho ho, I didnt know you were missing me so much,” rang Brandons voice as he appeared close behind Miranda. She didnt know if she was imagining it, but she could feel his warmth behind her. Despite herself, Miranda blushed. Then Audrey appeared in the room and pulled the century old playboy to his seat – pulled him by the ear, of course.
The other family heads felt stifled. They didnt know if they were angrier at their descendants who had appeared before them or this stupid old man who had somehow completely stopped caring that the Earth was being taken over.
“Lets begin,” Miranda said, sitting down, her gaze still lingering on Brandon. He had gotten a few new tattoos since the last time she saw him…
Miranda gulped as she suppressed her wandering thoughts and regained composure. To help her retain her focus, she made direct eye contact with the Queen – the unofficial leader of the five family heads.
“It is only out of filial… pity… that we are even meeting. A lot of the members from the council wanted to directly wait for you with Gravedigger formations back on Earth and finish you off once and for all.”
The family heads suddenly grimaced when they heard those words. Gravedigger formations were the nuclear deterrents of the cultivation world. It was a hassle to set one up, simply because of the resources required to actually make one, but they had no theoretical upper power limit. If used properly, and if they were caught unaware, those formations could be a real threat to them.
“Hey, dont forget about Sam jr. who wanted to use hydrogen bombs,” pitched in Kevin.
Miranda gave Kevin a dirty look, but continued, “Yes, many ways of… disposing of you were discussed. You should be thankful that in the end the council only decided to imprison you at the Inn.”
“Hey, I can think of a few ways to thank you,” said Brandon with a wink.
Without missing a beat, Audrey stabbed Brandon in the leg with a small dagger, completely unconcerned that the Innkeeper would consider it an attack.
As if to emphasize to her husband to behave, she looked towards the two men sitting beside Miranda and said, “Im considering taking concubines. Would you be interested?”
Back in his room, Lex felt like flipping a table. This was supposed to be a serious meeting. WHAT THE HELL WAS GOING ON?
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